My husband and I can take Zoe and her brother to the local tennis courts and play tennis like any other family.

Our first one-on-one session with founder, Richard Spurling, was pretty much a disaster. Zoe wouldn’t focus. She bolted all over the place. We couldn’t get her attention. I started thinking up the excuses I would give Richard, fully expecting that he was about to utter what had become those all-too-familiar words, “Maybe she’s just not ready.”

But he didn’t. Instead, Richard said, “I think that was a good start. Will you come back again next week?”

And so we began on this path, slowly knocking obstacles out of Zoe’s way one at a time over these past 14 years. Sure, it’s been bumpy at times, but today Zoe hits running forehands and backhands with a smile on her face and has a killer forehand volley.

Mira Tamir Spiegel

Learn more about our program

Children between the ages of 5 and 18 years old who have autism spectrum disorder or intellectual/developmental disabilities. Your child does not need to be officially diagnosed to participate in our program. Each child is supported by at least one volunteer, but some children fare better with more or different types of support. We will work with you to find the right support for your child.

Our clinics aim to develop your child’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination, language, and social skills. It is our goal to provide an environment where your child can have fun, be their authentic self, and grow and develop.

This program aims to build a community for your family, while watching your child succeed in something new and create friendships. We also hope that this provides you with an hour of respite and an opportunity to meet other parents.

Each child will be provided a t-shirt, a racquet to borrow on court, and a medal at the end of every session to celebrate their achievements.

We use visual schedules displaying our 9-step curriculum to help with structure and predictability. We also partner with local autism service organizations to provide additional support as-needed.

Our Program Directors are passionate individuals trying to bring services and support to their community. They are tennis professionals, parents, students, and people who work in the field of autism. They are all required to complete a background check (if over the age of 18) and receive our organizational training and best practices in working with autistic children.

Our volunteers are caring, supportive individuals who are excited to learn from your child and create a fun environment on court. They are high school, college, or graduate students, members of the tennis or autism community, or adults in your community. All volunteers over the age of 18 are background checked and receive our organizational training and best practices in working with autistic children.

ACEing Autism strives to keep costs affordable for families and can provide an ACEing Autism scholarship to families in financial need. We also offer information on the Dick’s Sporting Goods Grant for those that qualify. Click to learn more.

Yes, ACEing Autism is NCACE (National Committee for Accreditation of Coaching Education) accredited through the USCCE (United States Center for Coaching Excellence). This accreditation ensures that all of our coaches and volunteers are properly trained to continuously provide quality coaching to your children. For more information, click here.

More Information About Our Program


ACEing Autism strives to keep costs affordable for families through our scholarship program.
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Your First Day

Learn what to expect on your first day at your ACEing Autism session and other general questions.
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Parents Corner

We are looking for parents to help us reach more children and families that can benefit from our program like you and your family.
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What does a typical ACEing Autism clinic look like?

We understand that as a parent, you want your child to be as prepared as possible before their first ACEing Autism clinic. We encourage you to watch this video with your child to gain a better understanding of the ACEing Autism tennis experience.